Re: [stella] Collaboration

Subject: Re: [stella] Collaboration
From: "Glenn Saunders" <cybpunks@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2003 21:10:36 -0800
Do you know what tombstone raster Death Race uses? How many columns and
rows? The screen shots I have seen, look like there are about 14 columns
and maybe 10 or less rows.

I never tried to figure it out, and given the 2600's resolution I didn't try to match it exactly. I just figured the zombies would be 16 scanlines high and tried to cram as many rows into the screen as possible, and used the PF0 register as the natural dividing line between the safe zones and the center playfield, hence yielding a main painting zone of 32x11 tombstones, or 16x11 if the tombstones are separated.

The screen shots I have seen look more like B or C. And IMO C would look
best (most random) as long as there are not too many tombstones on the

I think you are right about it being C. It's like a checkerboard pattern.

BTW: What will happen if a zombie is killed very close to an already
existing tombstone?

It will "quantize" the position of the new tombstone to the closest one in the grid. This could have some interesting unintended results for gameplay I'm sure. I can think of a nice easter-egg feature to add related to this. It also gives me an idea for the use of the grenade as a powerup.

And will there a chance to destroy already existing tombstones
(like the mushrooms in Centipede)?

The idea I had was to drop the timer (at least on some variations) and go for a wave-based approach. When x number of pedestrians cross over or are run down, the tombstones would start converting back into pedestrians and you would have to avoid the pedestrians. If a pedestrian hits a car it takes away a point, or it would probably have to be life-based then. I haven't completely thought out this part of the game but I'm thinking the AI would allow cars to somehow shake the zombies off so they head for the safe zones and leave the screen, or the zombies could have a limited lifespan and fade to black or degrade into puddles or something.

So DD will become the ultimate retro homebrew, right? ;-)

With your help it could be. I definitely don't want it to extend into 8K. I can't see how this would be necessary for something this simple. In fact if there is ROM left over I may have to force myself from adding too much flashy stuff. Games like Kaboom are a good lesson that it doesn't even take 4K to make a great game.

Ok, what about the grenades (ball)? To finish the specifications for the
kernel, I need to know where (vertically) you want them and if you want
more than one simultaneously on the screen.

I'd want to have at minimum two grenades simultaneously to appear anywhere horizontally on the boundary lines between the tombstone rows (all but the very top and bottom of the screen.)

Naturally, only one grenade on a grenade line at a time.

Since the grenade line would be isolated from the tombstones it would be nice if you did a color register change on it so it would stand out better than the rest of the playfield.

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